When you’re watching TV, how often do you choose to watch the adverts? If you have the ability to skip through the ad break, chances are you will. No one likes to be overtly sold something; I know I don’t.
With blog posts, the same applies. Most businesses out there now have a blog on their website. But the minute these posts start to read as advertorials, you can wave goodbye to your reader – possibly for good.
Sometimes the posts are well disguised – they can actually appear to be informative and entertaining at first when they are, in fact, promoting a product or service. But advertorials can seriously damage a brand’s credibility. There are several indications that you’re writing an advertorial, not a blog post. An article on HubSpot mentioned eight of these signs – I’ve put together a summary of some of them. Are you guilty of any of the following?
- You only blog when you have a new product or service to sell. Effectively, then, you’re a blogging cheerleader.
- You mislead with the title. For example, ‘The 5 best marketing campaigns ever’, but then the post only talks about five of your company’s marketing campaigns. Clickbait at its most annoying.
- Your whole blog post is pretty much one big call-to-action.
- You write as if there are no other companies out there offering the same service as you.
- You’re being paid money to promote a product. This has to be the most obvious sign you’re writing an advertorial. Readers will sense you’re selling from a mile off, so make sure you clearly state that it’s a promotional post.
Informative, entertaining and insightful blog posts will always win over pushy, promotional sales pieces. Have you ever “accidentally” written an advertorial instead of a blog post?